General information
Title CZKoncert pro klavírní trio a smyčcový orchestr
Subtitle CZ
Title ENConcerto for Piano Trio and String Orchestra
Subtitle EN
Title DEKonzert für Klaviertrio und Streichorchester
Subtitle DE
Title FRConcerto pour trio avec piano et l'orchestre à cordes
Subtitle FR
SubcategoryDouble, Triple and Quadruple Concertos
Halbreich number and suffix231
Parts of composition (movements)1. Poco allegro; 2. Andante; 3. Allegretto; 4. Moderato, poco allegro
Solo voiceVl Vc Pf
List of characters
Diplomatic transcription of dedication
Note on dedication
Place of composition
Year of origin1933
Initiation of composition04/1933
Finishing of composition04/1933
Last modification of composition
First performance
Performer Rudolf Baumgartner (dirigent/conductor)
Baumgartner, Rudolf
Date of first performance31.08.1963
Location of first performanceLuzern, Switzerland
Ensemble Festival Strings Lucerne
Autograph deposition
InstitutionPaul Sacher Stiftung
Deposition location
OwnerPaul Sacher Stiftung, Basel
Note on manuscriptFascimile of the autograph held by Éditions Max Eschig and the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička.
Place of issue
PublisherÉditions Max Eschig
Year of publication1965
CopyrightÉditions Max Eschig, Paris
NoteDate of origin: Easter 1933. *** Title on the title page of the autograph: "Trio. (piano.) | avec l'orchestre à cordes. | en 4 parties."

Piano Trio with String Orchestra

The title page of the Piano Trio with String Orchestra bears the date “Easter, 1933”. The composition, however, was not premiered until August 31st, 1963 at the Luzern Music Festival. The score of the trio was fortunately discovered by Harry Halbreich at Mrs. Charlotte Martinů’s house in Vieux Moulin, 30 years after it was written. The fact that Bohuslav Martinů decided to withhold the piece from publication was probably caused by a critical assessment by the prominent Schott publishing house in May, 1933. It reads: "We received the autograph of your Trio and studied it with great interest. It is a masterpiece, as all works coming from your pen. To be completely open and honest, however, we do not find this piece as much inspired as other compositions of yours. To be specific, it is the slow movement that seems a little bit pulseless and uneventful. We would like to recommend you to revise the second movement and see if greater plasticity can be reached by some cuts or by a marked tune." Still in summer 1933, Bohuslav Martinů wrote a composition called Concertino, for the same set of instruments, the same number of movements and the same starting key of C as the previous piece. The Schott publishing house then accepted Concertino as a substitute for Trio. Both compositions are stylistically similar and document Martinů’s neo-classic inspiration of the 1930s. The composer, however, did not use a single melodic motif of the trio, nor did he apply the same movement order in the concertino. The second movement of the Piano Trio with String Orchestra, for example, is slow and lyric, while in the Concertino, a playful and happy Moderato comes second. The Trio is conceived as a concerto grosso in which polyphonic and polytonal sections as well as short melodious motifs with ever-changing, rich rhythms are to be found. The Trio is a composition full of life, with delicately worked-out details. Tonight’s concert will hopefully give us a chance to discover the depths and beauty of this almost unknown piece by Bohuslav Martinů.

Sandra Bergmannová


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